Strategy for Hardly Strictly No. 5

This year's line-up for Hardly Strictly is the best yet. Many of our picks (we are in full family mode for this thing) are pretty darned obvious to those paying attention but for those needing a little guidance or are just curious, here goes:

SAT - It's pretty much a grab bag until 1:25 when Del McCoury plays the Banjo Stage, followed by Doc Watson, who is then followed by Earl Scruggs at 4:15... a trio of legends in a row that we can't miss!! But it gets tricky... Robert Earl Keen (w/ Danny Barnes on banjo) plays the Rooster Stage at 4:50, and Calexico plays a Los Super Seven set with Joe Ely, Ruben Ramos, et al beginninga at 5:15 on the Star Stage. Youch. And then it's Steve Earle back at the main stage. To see all of this, we have to miss Kelly Joe Phelps, Tim and Greg from Mother Hips, Hot Rize, Gillian Welch, Buddy Miller, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Brutal. But if all goes well we won't accidently hear Joan Baez.

SUN - We'll kick off Sunday morning at 11 for The Waybacks w/ Darol Anger at the main. Roam a bit, but back to the main stage for Tim O'Brien's 1:15 set featuring Mr. Danny Barnes in his band. He's followed by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, who the past 2 years has totally astounded us. Another legend -- Ralph Stanley -- follows at 4:05 and then Emmylou Harris at 5:45. The Rooster Stage has some serious attractions... Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, and Steve Earle do a songwriters circle at 2:45 and Roseanne Cash is at 4:20. We'll catch her for a while, but then head over to see Dolly Parton at the Star Stage... cannot miss. Then to end it, it's gotta be Peter Rowan and Tony Rice over at the Arrow Stage at 5:45. Then we'd have to miss Emmylou, which we hate to do. Brutal choices!

There are 5 stages this year, so plans can change if the sound systems get crowded, but the main stage is looking mighty this year. Seeya in the park.

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